No, I did not spend $10,000 on a cat. Not yet anyway...
I am not really an animal person. I don't dislike them, but I don't have that "ohhh look a puppy" gene either. The boy (my son) loves animals. My ex-husband was allergic to cats and dogs so we never had a pet. After our divorce and because of all of the changes that my son had to endure because his parents didn't love each other anymore, (guilt) I agreed to get him a pet.
I vetoed the dog idea immediately. I just felt like a dog was too much work and I knew my boy well, I'd be the one walking the dog at 5:00 AM so my decision was made. Honestly, when I agreed to a pet I was thinking maybe a turtle or something like a fish. I'm all about low maintenance. He wasn't too keen on those ideas. So we settled on a cat.
It must have been fate, because a friend of mine knew someone who was moving and could not take their cat with them. So, the cat was free. Bonus.
Bob (that's the cat's name, don't ask) was timid at first. He didn't know us, and he hid under my son's bed for 2 days. (although I'm sure he snuck out when we weren't looking for food and to do his business, the cat box was evidence of that) Bob was an outdoor cat, but I was told that when a cat is in a new place - he needs to be kept inside for a week to get used to his surroundings so that he doesn't try to find his way "home". I'm not an expert on cats, so who was I to argue?
So after the week (and to my joy, I hate cat liter boxes) we let Bob outside. He was MIA for three days. The boy was sad, and I was cursing the person who told me to keep him inside. The poor cat was probably all - those people locked me inside, I'm escaping while I have the chance! After three days though, Bob was back.
Ever since then, Bob and the boy are buddies. Wherever the boy is, Bob is close by. If the boy is doing homework (don't ask me why but he sits on the floor in his bedroom to do his homework) Bob is sitting next to him. If the boy is on his computer, Bob is either on his lap or on the bed. When the boy watches TV, Bob is on his bed with him. When the boy goes with his dad for weekends, Bob meows at me - walks back towards the boy's room - then comes back and meows at me again. Probably asking what I've done with him, he misses his boy. Happy story right? Not so much.
The town I live in has very very few apartments. It is dominated by single family homes. I was on a waiting list for a "luxury apartment complex" (translation: we'll call it luxury so we can charge you rent that is not any cheaper than a mortgage). So after a year of being on the list we were finally in. At the time I applied, I didn't have a cat. Now that I did, I found out that they charge a $50 a month "pet convenience" fee. Yeah, not so convenient for me to be paying $600 more a year. So I ask the obvious question "is this in case there are damages?". Answer: "No, if there are damages, you still have to pay for them". Well that blows. But what can I do? The boy would be devastated if I told him we couldn't bring Bob with us.
So we move into our "luxury" apartment. I decided it was time to retire my love seat and get something new. I settled on an over sized chair. It cost me $450. Within a month - Bob decided this was going to be his new scratching post. No matter what I did, he wouldn't stop. Now it's got stuffing coming out of the side. Thanks Bob.
When he's not scratching up my new chair, he's scratching up the carpet in the corner of the boy's room. I estimate it will cost about $500 to repair. As I said Bob is an outdoor cat, but he can't just meow when he wants to come in like a normal cat would...he decided that that clawing at the window screen is a better attention getter. I had to remove the screens because he clawed them so badly they were shreds. Repair estimate: $50.00. Now he meows to come in. Stupid cat.
So, the life expectancy of a cat is about 15 years. Not that I will, but if I did stay where I'm living now, I did the math. At $600 a year, that's $9,000 in total I'd have paid for the "convenience of having Bob", plus the $1,000 in damages that he's already done. In the end Bob will have cost me $10,000.
I call him Bob the wonder cat, because it's a wonder that I keep him. But the boy loves him...and I love the boy. So Bob stays.
The things we do for love.